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Went to Lego store for the first time. Wanted to register for a vip card, but they were all out, so I was wondering if I can still get points for my purchases? How does that work?
As I was about to place a large order, I signed up as a VIP member. On the order confirmation page, it said what my VIP card number would be and that I would earn 2,649 VIP points (I saved a screenshot, fortunately!).
A few days later, I noticed my VIP points still hadn't arrived, so I raised this with CS and was told that there was no VIP card linked to my account (even though I had signed up for it before placing my order). They then created a new VIP membership for me, which I also registered. I then asked them to add the points to it, but I was told that this account was registered after I had placed my order, so I wasn't eligible for any VIP points. Gah!
After a few more email exchanges and phone calls, I eventually had the VIP points added to my account, but they showed up as having a total value of £0 so I couldn't use them. The next time I tried to log in, it caused a 500 Internal Server Error. Even after deleting all my cookies, I couldn't log in without the server giving an error. I was asked to do pointless things, like resetting my browser to default settings, even though it was clearly a server problem. By now I was so frustrated, I was on the verge of sending everything back for a full refund - it totally soured my experience of using the LEGO shop online. Perhaps the most remarkable bit was when the LEGO CS agent asked me over the phone for my password so they could try and log in as me to see what the problem was. Like, what?!
So a month after placing my order, I still had no VIP points and I couldn't even log into the website for about a week!
This was eventually sorted out - I had to abandon my old account (CS said it was "corrupted") and create a new one, to which they finally added my VIP points. They said I couldn't reuse my old username, which was a mildly annoying.
I find it a bit worrying that an account can be inexplicably "corrupted" and not be recoverable. As web applications go, it seems a bit flaky - I even got a stack trace when trying to buy something once. Maybe I'm just unlucky, but I didn't do anything unusual to cause this to happen.
Anyway, I asked if they could send me a free Medieval Market Village 10193 to make up for all the problems, and they did. So I guess it worked out okay in the end, but I'm a little bit wary about placing my next order.
EDIT: Never mind. Every $100 = $5.
This is a very similar experience to mine. Signing up as a VIP member at the same time as making my first purchase seemed to corrupt that account. What a right pain in the arse that was to sort out.
Although I now have a different account, that generally doesn't add VIP points automatically and I tend to phone up and get them added afterwards manually whenever I make a purchase.
Don't sign up to the VIP programme as part of a purchasing operation, kids.
Remember you don't get points when you cash in VIP points.
Treat your customer's right, like human beings, and they'll for the most part treat you right back.
I make a point to throw lots of business towards companies that do me right.
I now have a reference saying "5 Stamp Conversion" and 75 points - does anyone know what that's for? [unless it's AFOLCON, but the numbers aren't right]
In the UK, we earn 1 VIP point per £1 spend (spend includes VAT). In the US it is 1 VIP point per $1 spend (spend excludes tax). At the weekend I used my VIP card in the US and the points got credited to my account as normal.
So in the US, a spend of $100 (excluding tax) gets me 100 VIP points, or $5 off my next purchase. It also gets me £5 off my next purchase. So a £64 spend approx (£69 after tax where I was), gets me a £5 discount off my next purchase in the UK. You normally have to spend £100 to get 100 points in the UK (double points promos aside). So not only is the Lego cheaper in the US, you actually get more points per £ spent that can be used in the UK as well.
I'm pretty sure VIPs are international - so you can earn and spend them anywhere using the same card (eg stores in Germany, Denmark, other international [email protected] sites).
"I" recently bought the mini-modular set and Diagon Alley (I didn't, it was a birthday present from a friend but he couldn't get the mini set without my card) in the US, and then bought a set on UK [email protected] using my points for £15 off instead of $15 off.
I totally love the VIP program :D Plus the shiny plastic card is awesome! Good tip!
Is it better to get double points or wait till there is a promotion with pick a brick box?
If the free PaB box offer is the same as last year, you'll need to spend $75 for the box (20% value back). You also still get normal VIP points at the 5% rate, so you get a total of 25% back, or in dollar terms, $18.75.
In contrast, double VIP points means you get 10% of your purchase dollars in VIP points, so for $75, you get $7.50 back.
Thus, the PaB offer is more valuable than the double VIP points offer.
However, there are a lot of considerations:
1. What is your value ratio for PaB:VIP points? It will be 1:1 if you would only get PaB cups with VIP points and never anything else. Otherwise, VIP points give you the flexibility to spend it on any product. For me, the ratio is close to 1:1 initially but skews in favor of VIP points as the purchase amount increases. This is because initially I could always use some elements off the wall, but once I start getting too many PaB boxes, I struggle to find enough useful elements to fill them. At that point, I would rather have VIP points to spend on LEGO I want rather than PaB boxes for elements I don't want.
2. Does your LEGO store give you a free PaB for EVERY $75 spent? Or do they insist on separating the transactions, in which case you'll lose out on value towards PaB boxes, i.e. 4x4 Crawler is $200, but they only give you one PaB for that transaction. If it's the latter, you'll get a PaB box and $10 VIP credit vs $20 VIP credit. If you have a strong preference for VIP points, suddenly it makes sense to just take the double points.
With respect to the 4x4 Crawler, I'm guessing you will probably have a chance to get this set much cheaper during the coming year or longer that this set will be available. For example, a few days ago I was able to use a 20 percent off coupon at Toys R Us to get it for $160 (before tax of course). That coupon is expired now, but I'm sure between future coupons and/or other sales at various retailers, you can probably do better than 10 percent off on the 4x4 Crawler.
If you can wait until the Brick Friday sale in-store, you'll receive the following off of a $149 purchase+
10% off (more is rare, via scratch off cards)
5% back on VIP (this is always available)
Free Holiday Set
Free PaB box(es)
Online is the same, except no PaB online...but you can do a cashback site portal (Discover Card is running 5% plus another 5% for all online purchases in 4th quarter as an example).
So, best to hold out until then to maximize the deal, unless you just really want it now, or if there is a danger of sets going OOS (real possibility with the Bakery as mentioned)
The boxes... can be stacked very neatly if you are so inclined, because of the shape, you can get a ton of stuff in them.